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Michele Gordigiani

(1835-1909), Artist

Artist associated with 4 portraits
Michele Gordigiani was an Italian painter, and was the son of a musician. He studied in Florence, following the school of Luigi Mussini, after which he set up a portrait studio in the city. Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning had their likenesses painted by him when they visited Florence.

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning, by Michele Gordigiani - NPG 1899

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

by Michele Gordigiani
oil on canvas, 1858
On display in Room 24 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 1899

Robert Browning, by Michele Gordigiani - NPG 1898

Robert Browning

by Michele Gordigiani
oil on canvas, 1858
On display in Room 24 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 1898

King Edward VII, published by F. Barsotti, after  Michele Gordigiani - NPG D33846

King Edward VII

published by F. Barsotti, after Michele Gordigiani
photographic print, (1886)
NPG D33846


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Carmen Pérez Torrecillas

03 January 2019, 14:51

Dear sir/madam,

My name is Carmen Pérez and my husband, Simone Botteri, is a descendant of Michele Gordigiani. In recent years we have been involved in several researches on this painter (recently we have published an article which presents our hypothesis on the attribution of the Hendrickje Stoffels table currently on display at the Städel Museum in Frankfurt to Michele Gordigiani. The article is in the secluded "NOTES", entitled "Hendrickje Stoffels: the Rembrandt of Gordigiani?", pages 105-117 and can be read online and downloaded (pdf, Italian) in this link:

We are also in contact with Gaspare Borsellino, a member of the Gordigiani family, who wrote the only biography about Michele Gordigiani (Umberto Allemandi editor, Turin, 1994). At the Portrait National Gallery there are three important portraits made by Michele Gordigiani who, because of the popularity of the two great Victorian poets all over the Anglo-Saxon world, represented an important sounding board for the fame of the Gordigiani.

Gordigiani participated in three major exhibitions of the Royal Academy of London in 1867, 1876 and 1886. Then literature says that Michele painted the portrait of Queen Victoria and on that occasion also made portraits of many family members including the Prince of Wales and his wife (future Queen Alexandra, mother of George V). It even seems that on that occasion the Gordigiani was a guest of the future Edward VII in his yacht.

We have discovered that the portrait of Edward VII is in Versailles, but we are looking for the portrait of Queen Victoria and the future Queen Alexandra. Could you help us find these two portraits made by Gordigiani? Queen Victoria was very happy with the portrait that had been made by Gordigiani and in addition to what was agreed by the Court, gave him a gift.

Three times Queen Victoria came to spend a few weeks in Florence, a city then very hospitable and a destination for refined tourism. The English community was very large. They had a cemetery, an Anglican church and beautiful villas in Bagni di Lucca.

Philip Kelley, editor, The Brownings' Correspondence

24 May 2017, 23:20

Michele Gordigiani was born on 29 May 1835 (not 1830). His baptism is recorded at on 30 May 1835. Elizabeth Barrett Browning's portrait, painted in 1858, was over painted in June 1859. Robert Browning's portrait was painted in June1859.

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